Growing Highland congregation reveals new church plans

A congregation used to meeting in school halls in the north of Scotland has become so popular that it has revealed plans to build its own church in the Highland capital.

Scott McRoberts
The Rev Scott McRoberts, minister at Inverness St Columba, said he hopes the church will serve as a community facility as well as a place of worship. (photo courtesy of the Press and Journal)

Community support

Since April 2010, Inverness St Columba New Charge Church of Scotland has gathered in rented spaces in Inverness.

The 90-strong congregation, which rose from 20 in the early days, has decided it is now in a position to create its own place of worship.

The chosen site is on land off Dores Road, between Tesco supermarket and the River Ness.

This area is part of wider plans to build 800 new homes.

The Rev Scott McRoberts, minister at Inverness St Columba, said he hopes the church will become an important part of community life in the region.

He said: “We want to provide a modern building for a modern growing community and a modern growing church.

“The rapid expansion of housing in our south-western corner of the city needs both indoor and outdoor community space for people to be with each other, with space for the gatherings you just can’t do in a house – and we would love to offer that to people. A place for life celebrations, meetings, community events, there’s so much possibility.

“And the growth in our church means we’re looking for more space to gather together, as more and more people of all ages and backgrounds are gathering around what they are finding to be good news in their lives that we have to share."

The church currently meets at Drummond School, having previously gathered at Holm Primary School.

The church has now applied to Highland Council for planning permission in principle for the site.

The plans are still at an early stage and detailed design work will begin soon.

The congregation was established following the closure of St Columba High Church in Bank Street after the retirement of then minister the Rev Alastair Younger.

Mr McRoberts added: “This church building has been a long time in the planning and the congregation is excited about the possibilities this site holds."

Read an article on this from the Press and Journal here.